CBD Patient Testimonials

About 1300 patients have consulted us for CBD by May 2020. We have found CBD to be useful for many long-term conditions. Patients are generally seen just twice. The second visit is a shorter follow up consultation about a month after CBD has been started. This is an important opportunity to discuss how the CBD is helping, discuss dosing and other medicinal cannabis options. At follow up patients are asked if CBD is No Good, Good, Very Good or Excellent. We have grouped patients into these four categories (see below) that can be audited separately: CANCER, PAIN, EMOTIONAL & NEUROLOGICAL.

Patients have sent us these stories and given me permission to publish them here. We wish to thank patients for their stories and invite any further updates. Patients are invited to ask us to delete their stories if they wish, for any reason, without compromising any ongoing treatment. Some have been edited slightly for clarification.


Cancer Symptoms

Many cancer patients have been too ill to write their stories, however they often tell us that CBD or Sativex (CBD + THC) eases pain, nausea, anxiety and improves appetite and sleep. Medicinal cannabis can reduce the side-effects of conventional cancer treatments.

Pain

M.J. age 57, fibromyalgia

On a personal note, I just want to thank you for the difference you have made in my life. If you had not agreed to do a Skype consultation with me, no doubt I would have taken a couple of days off work to come up to see you in Auckland at Kingsland, but the petrol and casual consultation costs as well as days off work were mitigated because you allowed this to happen from home. So I am very grateful. And while the Tilray was initially hellishly expensive at around $600 per 25 mls, over the last few years it has come down in price. I now pay $285 and this bottle lasts me about 5 weeks. Some people spend this amount on coffee and bought lunches in a 5 weeks period. The CBD oil allows me to work, and to contribute to the lives of others, so I thank you for the service that you provide. I would be happy to advocate for the work that you do, to be interviewed in any submissions to Pharmac or MoH in support of these products, and am grateful to have been your patient No 16!


N.O. age 80, osteoarthritis pain to multiple joints

I am a decrepit 80 year old with a very bad back and dicey knees who has suffered so much pain that I was seriously considering a trip to Switzerland. With so much pain life was hardly worth living. CBD has changed all that. I am still a decrepit 80 year old but life is now tolerable. I tell my friends CBD is not magic, but it is close enough.


C.H. age 59, pelvic surgical mesh pain

I have been using CBD oil since October 2019.
I had been on quite a few medications for nerve and abdominal pain, from the time I had surgical mesh used to treat urinary incontinence.
I had the mesh removed or at least as much as was possible, but I was still left in severe pain. The pain affected my everyday life. It was there 24hours a day. I Used a lot of medications which only dulled the pain, but also dulled my brain. Going to work was an effort, sitting, walking, cleaning. Anything and everything was an effort. If we went away in the car we would have to stop at least hourly as the pain in my buttocks and groin was unbearable. Walking, which I used to do a lot, was something I could do only on an exceptionally good day and only for a short distance. I stopped doing a lot of things as it would take me a day to recover from doing the vacuuming. I then started to become depressed as it looked like there would be no end to the pain. It was a terrible place to be.

I asked my own GP, if I could try CBD, he wasn’t prepared to offer that. I started looking online where I found Dr Gulbransen. After reading other testimony I decided to take action. I emailed Dr Gulbransen directly and was most surprised to receive a reply almost straight away. I made arrangements to fly up to Auckland for a face to face consultation.

After listening to my issues it was agreed I would trial CBD oil for 1 month. Then I would have a telephone consultation to see what the improvements to my health had been. I had been awake a lot with pain then going to the toilet. Within my first week of CBD oil I was able to sleep through the night. I felt my head and thoughts were in a much better place. I could go to work and manage my job without taking added painkillers every few hours. I was still tired and sometimes sore, but the recovery time was much quicker.

After 3 to 4 weeks I was excited to start moving with small walks to begin with, but now can achieve at least 10km, not at a fast pace but a comfortable one. I am able to manage the vacuuming, prepare a meal, walk to the shop all on the same day. The pain hasn’t completely gone, but my life and everyday living is so much better. I have customers at my work saying I look much younger and fresher. Thank you Dr Gulbransen for giving me this opportunity.


R.C. age 75, neck pain, spasms, poor sleep

Some ten years ago I suffered a serious spinal injury to my neck as the result of a surfing accident. After two operations and the insertion of a titanium plate I was able to get back on my feet and started to teach myself to walk again. The intervening years have seen periods of extreme pain where I have been on 24 hour morphine and a variety of other restricted drugs. This year after a knee replacement things deteriorated with extreme spasms, which could last eight to ten hours meaning very little sleep and a general deterioration in my already poor health.

While pessimistic about the benefits of medicinal cannabis I did succumb to my wife’s gentle pressure and sought an appointment with Dr Gulbransen, who introduced me to Medical Cannabis Oil (CBD) which I was able to access immediately from the Chemist adjacent to his practise.

The benefits where almost immediate and within 48 hours the spasms had all but disappeared. Now some four months later my quality of life has improved enormously. I am sleeping better, walking better, working out in the gym on a regular basis and suffer far less pain. And the pessimism has been replaced by enthusiastic optimism for a product that should be available for all Kiwis.


J.M., age 55, fibromyalgia & Sjogren’s Syndrome
I’m an active woman in my mid 50’s. 5 years ago I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and told to learn how to live with it. I thought I was doing ok by using alternatives - mindfulness, yoga and low level laser. The Fibro progressed and after a few ruptured cornea’s in my eyes and quite a lot of pain I was referred to a Rheumatologist who diagnosed me with Sjogren’s Syndrome as well as the Fibro. This was now affecting what I could and couldn’t do. I was offered the standard cocktail of rather nasty drug options – all with side effects. I had previously researched CBD oil but was unsure of how legal and safe it was - I was told by my GP that it was not legal.

On further research I found Cannibiscare.nz and was delighted by the legitimacy and professionalism of the organisation. I so wish I had known about and had access to this at the beginning. It has proven to be quite life changing. I now get 4-6 hours of uninterrupted sleep – without doubt this makes me a much nicer human! I believe my pain levels have dropped by 60%. I believe that CBD will provide me with a long term solution to pain management that is non addictive, has no contra indications, does not affect my mood or overall wellbeing.

I am so very grateful to Dr Gulbransen for making this available. I encourage anyone who lives with pain to try CBD.


W.A. age 82, spinal pain

Last year I completed Dr Gulbransen’s months trial with Tilray 100 CBD oil. The reasons I wanted to do the trial was to address my increasing spinal pain. For which the Hospital were giving me eight paracetamol 500m a day. This did help take the edge off, but the cost was my being rendered very unaware every day: stupid, unawake, directionless, vague.

After a few days of the trial, I had stopped the paracetamol, and without pain enjoyed the month like a normal person. Able to stand and sit etc without aid!
Unfortunately at that time the cost was prohibitive to continue, I had no choice but to await a more doable cost, which, with changing attitudes, would hopefully be soon.


J.M. age 55, fibromyalgia

I have found the CBD oil to be totally life changing. I sleep up to 6 hours uninterrupted. My pain has been hardly noticeable – randomly I’ve hardly had a hot flush. Unfortunately I’d need to sell my house to afford it. 25mls is only going to last me a couple of weeks, taking it 3 times a day.
I live in hope that one day this product will be available affordably. I’m so delighted to have had the respite from myself, I’ve felt pretty normal. Waking up and getting up easily has been rather wonderful.


H.L. age 8, chronic pain from Ehlers Danlos

Firstly I would like to thank you for seeing H and give you an update. The CBD has changed H’s life she is almost pain free and sleeping properly. Her mood had improved dramatically as has her engagement at school. She is still only on the minimum dose of 0.25ml [25mg] morning and evening, we cannot believe how this has given our little girl a quality of life we were not sure she'd ever have.
Secondly I'd like to ask for your advice, we have encountered some issues - in particular a Dr [name deleted] at Starship. We met with this doctor prior to bringing H to see you where she offered pregabalin and tramadol to manage H’s condition. We were uncomfortable with these due to their strength and highly addictive nature.
Since starting her on CBD both her physio and OT have seen significant improvement. We let her know we wanted to trial this first before considering any of the powerful drugs she had offered.
Long story short I received a phone call from Dr [name deleted] on Friday, telling me I was doing something illegal and unsafe, and asking where I had got this "stuff". I provided a full explanation as to what CBD is and informed her about ratios of THC to CBD etc and the legalities around it. She did not concede that it was perfectly legal and said she was going to have to look into it. Her arrogance and lack of knowledge surrounding this astounded me.
Yesterday we received a call to say H's Physio was going to be put on hold. We called to discuss this, where we were told she had to ascertain the safety, as she did not feel it was safe to give to children and thats why she was putting H’s care on "hold".
We asked for justification to the "hold" on her physio and was met with nothing but arrogance and disregard to the points made. During that phone call we also found out she was completely unaware of some of H’s prior diagnosis and treatments yet willing to prescribe these drugs. We are now going down the formal complaint route, as the way in which she conducted herself and her accusations were appalling. We feel that she has taken exception to the fact we have chosen another route and now is making things as difficult as possible for us to the detriment of H.
We know you have probably faced a lot of adversity surrounding the use of CBD, and hoped you could offer some guidance.
We called the service manager at the end of last week and H’s care has been reinstated. She would not discuss the circumstances which led to her care being put on hold and said the complaint would be dealt with in due course. The most important thing is H can go back to Physio.
H’s pain level has drastically reduced and all joint inflammation seems to have gone :)


M.G. age 48, low back pain

After 13 months of living with severe excruciating pain all throughout my lower body due to a spinal surgery going wrong and having to take up to 36 pharmaceuticals a day I booked an appointment with Doctor Graham Gulbransen to enquire about medicinal cannabis as a possible alternative. After the initial consultation, Dr Gulbransen prescribed me a trial of Tilray 100 CBD oil. Within 25mins of taking my first dose, I noticed a small decrease in my pain levels and felt a little more comfortable sitting or moving around. It wasn't a huge change but there was a change.
Throughout two weeks using the CBD oil I noticed some considerable changes. My pain levels decreased and I managed to start cutting my morphine doses down to almost half of what they were with almost no withdrawal symptoms, my bowels returned to a more normal frequency, my sleep patterns changed a little for the better, my depression and anxiety symptoms seemed to taper off a bit and I had a better overall feeling of wellbeing.
Due to the financial strain of purchasing the CBD oil I was unable to get a second bottle and within days of finishing the bottle, my pain levels increased and generally felt terrible again and had to restart high doses of opiate pain meds.
Dr Gulbransen is a great doctor and really cares about his patient's wellbeing. I highly recommend booking an appointment with him if your GP is hesitant to prescribe, you are interested in how medicinal cannabis products may help you, and whether they may work for you.


A.G. age 44, migraines, anxiety

Health conditions I had before taking the CBD Oil:
* Painful spasms/migraines caused by dystonia in neck/jaw
* Tremor caused by dystonia
* Chronic blocked nose which causes me to have panic attacks from not being able to breathe through it and the feel of suffocation
* High level of anxiety and insomnia caused by all of these health conditions

After taking the CBD Oil for nearly 3 weeks, I have found:
* The migraines have reduced in frequency
* Anxiety has decreased and I have not had a panic attack since taking it when I was having a couple a week beforehand
* I have also found it easier to fall asleep at night and continue to stay asleep where as before, I was waking up a couple of times in the night and barely getting any sleep.

I feel with continued use and possibly with taking a higher dose (which the expense of it limits me to do), I would experience even better results. It is very easy to take and I have not experienced any side affects so far.
I would recommend it to anyone suffering from similar health problems to myself.


Mr O.D. age 36, fibromyalgia

The CBD oil that you prescribed to me has been nothing short of life changing. It's incredible the difference that I have since I started taking the oil. Before I came into my health issues with fibromyalgia I was a very extremely active person at the gym 5 days a week / paragliding / hiking / cycling & loads of physical work in the garden and my job as a field engineer its a very demanding work on a number of different levels.
All of this came to a stop last year as my body seemed like it had just given up and I was left in some great deal of pain on a daily basis, I was taken out of the field work in my job and put into the office as I was unable to perform my duties my exercise was restricted to short walks with the dog as its all I could manage with a low energy levels and constant pain. Cannabis was my only real saver from this daily pain it gave me better flexibility to move with less issues so I was able to take on normal tasks at home.
I received the CBD oil and started taking it on the 14th of February, I saw an almost immediate change to after consuming .25ml, by lunch time the pain was 50% I had more energy and flexibility the pain in my back slowly disappeared over the next two weeks to the point now where I feel completely normal and have returned to my normal active self that Is was before, it blows my mind that this is such an effective medicine and treats my symptoms with just a few drops under the tongue - Im an advocate to Cannabis for a long period of time, but I now have a new found level of respect for how seriously powerful this plant truthfully is.

An example of how profound the effect this CBD oil has been for me:
Early this year in January I was fed up with laying around and decided that I needed to just push my fitness a little more, I took a walk on flat ground of about 3kms which left me in a some pretty bad way pain up my spine in my back and exhausted I slept as soon as I reached home and felt worse for days after.
After using CBD oil for around 3 weeks, I managed to largest hike of my life 44kms climbing more than 3000m of elevation with a 9kg pack on my back stretching over 3 days of some very full-on terrain. I completed the hike with some trouble in the beginning. By the third day I was able to endure full days with little stopping and good energy!
I have now returned to my normal field work and Im extremely happy / pain free on a daily basis.

One Issue
I’m subject to random drug testing at my work, after returning home to I drug tested myself and found that I’m failing for THC - Not just a little fail either it’s a solid fail, I’m well aware of how my body processes cannabinoids and I regularly test myself with test kits that I have at home to understand how long the THC takes to disappear from my system. I can tell you with some confidence that the CBD oil as trace amounts of THC which is by NZ law just fine they can contain unto 2% THC in a CDB oil as per the information on the MOH website.
So I have this great solution to my health issues by using CBD oil but it’s going to make me fail a random drug test which will result in me losing my job, I plan to talk to my manager about this issue so we can talk through it together. What I think is going to help is if I have a letter from you stating that my CBD oil is a legal prescription and its possible for the oil to contain trace elements of THC which would possibly show up in a drug test.

Summary
So CBD oil is working for me better than I could ever imagine.
Lastly I’d like to personally thank you for taking on Cannabis and being one of the first doctors in NZ to make it available to people, your work has given me back my normal active life.


J.B. age 76, arthritis pain to joints, anxiety

Since seeing you on 5 April I have been using the cannabis oil you prescribed and following the initial build-up you recommended have been taking 0.5ml in the morning and 0.75ml in the evening. I have had no joint pain other than my shoulder which arose from an injury strain that I treat with an anti-flam massage regularly in the evening before going to bed when I gain some relief from the massage and heat from the electric blanket.
The changes in my lifestyle have been subtle rather than dramatic. I can now stand up without help, walk around the house without my walker and my level of anxiety has decreased. My biggest problem now is dealing with the shoulder pain and also the anxiety and occasional panic attacks, which have become firmly established over a period of 27 years.
I had a visit from an Elder Care Doctor last week. He had been sent by my own GP to look at alternative pain relief. He was impressed with my degree of mobility and was happy for me to continue with the Cannabis Oil treatment as he felt that he could not offer me anything better than your treatment.
The best result of all so far is that I have not found it necessary to take Maxigesic tablets for pain since starting the cannabis oil treatment. By the time I got to see you I was needing to take the tablets every three to four days. Without that medicine I hope my kidneys have had a chance to recover - all thanks to your treatment. I still have some lower back pain while preparing the evening meal late in the afternoon and I take two Panadol Osti tablets about 4 to 5pm.


W.A. age 70, chronic abdominal pain, nausea

After only a couple of weeks of taking the oil I am pleased to say my nausea and pain levels are less severe.
Nausea and it’s symptoms are nowhere near as debilitating and I feel my appetite has slightly improved. My stomach and abdominal pain would usually be so bad, at times acute, I seldom left home - this has become more tolerable - I hadn’t realised just how bad it’s been. Morning brain fog with nausea and headache has also eased.
The sharp pancreatic pain in my chest and through to my back and down the arm have totally gone.
I’m slightly sceptical with any medication, but have to say I do feel improved already and looking forward to living a more normal, better quality of life. With improvement I’m sure bouts of depression will also be just a memory.
Emotional Distress
J.S. age 57, anxiety and depression

Although it is only 5 days since I started taking Tilray the impact on my mood has been pretty much immediate and very positive: I am significantly less anxious and feeling more robust and motivated. My sleep is much better.
The effect on my pain levels has also been positive but more modest although it is of course early days yet. I am currently on 0.5ml twice daily and am continuing to take my existing meds. I’m keeping a twice daily record of mood and pain levels and sleep quality.


A.C. age 31, anorexia (ED) & emotional distress

I thought I would let you know that I am finding the CBD oil really good. Although my ED behaviours are still very much there, and my mood is low, the medication has definitely taken the sharpness out of the constant anxiety I feel, and at times I even forget I am anxious! I am currently facing a number of stressors in my life, in addition to the ED, and I do believe the oil is helping me tolerate them more easily. I am on a relatively low dose 0.25mg twice per day, so will look at increasing this. I have picked up my second prescription so may see you again in a month or so for another script.


D.G. age 46, emotional distress

I would like to thank you so much for being in this space of wellness, it has simply changed my life for the better, I no longer feel manic or stressed and my anxiety is manageable and settled. I now have clarity of thought free from the committee in my head which I have never experienced before. I have the normal emotions like everyone does, but it no longer sits in my head and I feel able to control those dark emotions with ease. I am calm and focused all day, a feeling years of prescription pharmaceuticals has never allowed me. I never imagined I could control “the committee” in my head with a natural based product, and given my disease of addiction I am so pleased to be free of “pharmaceuticals” and able to get on with my recovery with clarity and calmness. I would be more than happy to have anyone of your patients or colleagues contact me to discuss my experience at any stage.
Neurological Symptoms
C.M. age 39, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Insomnia

I saw Dr Graham Gulbransen at the end of 2019. I have been suffering with CFS and insomnia for over 15 years. The first night I took the CBD which was only 0.25 ml I had an amazing response. Within half an hour I felt an overall sense of calm and clarity that I hadn't experienced in a long time. Both my body and mind felt very relaxed, but my mind was also more clear. I was happy to have any kind of positive result but this has far exceeded my expectations. My sleep is the best it has been since becoming ill and I have been able to significantly reduce my medications. I wake up feeling much more refreshed. I used to describe my fatigue as tired but wired, since starting the CBD my energy and mood feels a lot more even without the peaks and troughs.
I am still only taking 0.5 mls at night as this seems to be the best dose for me at this stage. I am obviously very sensitive to it and fortunately don't need to take a high dose.
It is by far the best treatment I have taken in over 15 years of trying anything and everything to help my CFS. To anyone thinking of trying CBD I would say you have nothing to lose and potentially a lot to gain. Although it is not a cure it has greatly increased my quality of life. I am so grateful it has been such a positive experience for me and am looking forward to how much more improvement it will give me.

R.C. age 13, severe autism with global developmental delay, anxiety, OCD

After one month on CBD oil:
- Increased positive interaction with eye contact, facial expression, good body language signs
- Total calmness in overall demeanour, no meltdowns, OCD decreased, less anxious, sleeping better
- Actually had a small conversation with his Father, argued, and used his first name instead of saying “Dad”- cheeky grin and happy smiles
- Better behaviour and compliance shown in all aspects, at home, respite care and school environment
- Interaction with sister, laughing at the “right” time of an event, and joining in the fun, initiate a question and response
- observing others activities
- better social interaction with peers at school
- we had to buy a hat for RC without any notice, (re: hot day walking in the 30 degree heat) RC accepted this, with no warning and no problems what so ever, put it on, and did not have a sensory overload issue- awesome!
- more vocabulary exploration
- able to self-regulate with change easier
- sleeping better overall
These significant changes are life changing for RC and our whole family dynamics, we are very thankful for this CBD oil, with the help of Dr Graham Gulbransen advising/guiding us through this journey that comes with challenging puberty, teenage years, non compliance and pretty much RC being normally non-verbal, we are excited how this will improve RC’s demeanour and quality of life living with Autism and being able to express himself in the community also.
Thanks so much Dr Gulbransen you have made our world a little easier to help support RC and guide him.

K.M. age 25, autism, intellectual disability, epilepsy

We started K on CBD in October 2019. He immediately became quieter and calmer. As K is on 3 anti-epileptic and anti-psychotic medications we have needed to carefully titrate down his lamotrigine whilst titrating up his CBD. This has been quite easy to do – requiring close observation of his behaviour and seizure activity. I’m thrilled to say we’ve reduced his lamotrigine from 250mg daily down to 50mg daily – absolutely brilliant! We’re aiming to eventually reduce (hopefully eliminate) the other two medications he’s on.
There have been several noticeable improvements for K:
- He is more focussed, better eye contact than ever before
- He seems to understand conversation and instructions better – he responds appropriately and rapidly – he really seems to be ‘tuned in’ better than ever before
- He is ‘mouthing’ some words – K has always been non-verbal and now whilst still not actually saying words his lips and mouth are often moving in imitation of me so hopefully some words will come soon
- His skin has a really healthy glow – somehow he just looks healthier and happier
- Best of all his seizure rate has dramatically improved – it has been 5 weeks since his last seizure (before CBD he was having a seizure every 10 - 14 days despite heavy-duty anti-epileptic medications)
We’re enormously grateful to Dr Gulbransen for his guidance and expertise – and his very caring attitude to patients and their family.

A.P. 2 ½ year old, seizures, spasms

Seizures, spasms since birth. Very underweight. On AED (anti-epileptic drugs). Breathing difficulty with baclofen, stopped.
I can't thank you enough for the medication that you have prescribed for my girl Alisha. I have seen an improvement in her spasms, she is relaxed and eating well. We are close to finishing the first bottle of medication and hoping to see you again soon. Once again many thanks and much appreciated for everything.

R.S. 4 year old, autism

Day 1-3 Observations with CBD. Social Connection and Interaction:
There are new signs of acknowledgement to others around her evident in behavioural responses with an implied opened awareness to share and communicate verbally. There are many small examples where differences are noticed, a few are listed below:

Most behaviours are not necessarily new, but 'Enhanced':
  • Continued response when name is called with conscious eye/facial contact, prompt actions when asked to do something.
  • Interest in what others are doing by observing
  • Showing more willingness to follow and join play with cousins, high-five interaction
  • Used flashcards to show mother pictures while saying vowel sounds of image
Eating Habits:
  • Clear signs of changes in meal routines show acceptance to eat what is given and even in one instance voluntarily reached for a slice of cooked meat at the table and ate it all.
Something New:
These are two examples of new noticeable changes that show and confirm positive progress.
  • Sang along with a song playing on the radio in the car.
  • Using Two words in a row: 'Me Too', 'Ok Mummy', 'Thank You Mimi' (sisters nickname).

There is a wonderful change hard to explain that is happening where we see R acknowledge in closer detail the world around her and especially with those around her. There is a willingness to interact and respond where she includes us during spouts of activity. Thank you soo much for providing such an opportunity for healthy living.